Things I Believe

Roughly a year ago, I wrote these down. I was in a tangled confusing mess. At the time, I was trying to determine an outcome to something I couldn’t control. It just wasn’t in my hands. Recognizing this uncertainty, I tried for hours and days with my analytical abilities to play chess with reality, calculating each move until I had a known outcome. This left me more frustrated and mentally exhausted than I’d started out.

I couldn’t force it. So instead, I asked myself what would endure, with or without the temporary situation I was wrestling with. What would matter 40 years into the future? These were my answers, and I decided the time was right to share them:

  • Business works better when a company is a medium to express what you stand for.
  • Business works better when you care about the people you work with, and create a product which is an expression of those relationships.
  • You can never have ownership over someone else in work or in love. You can only choose to spend mutually beneficial time together.
  • When there’s no longer mutual benefit, reassess your terms.
  • Simple decency always trumps formal protocol.
  • Generosity, and creating experiences which make people smile, usually get you more than you started with. 
  • If you love what you do, you’ll profit more.
  • If you want to make big gains you have to be vulnerable.
  • Define your standards. When push comes to shove, maintain them.

The world will always be too complicated for us to know every answer ahead of time. Pick your axioms, and in moments of doubt, fall back on them.

Thanks to Buster Benson for his ’A Few Rules I Try to Live By’ which helped inspire the thoughts above.